It's 10:31 on a lovely winter morning, and I was just overcome by a strange and very unusual feeling. It wasn't deja vu, or what some call a frisson*. But it was an epiphany of sorts:
How do you sell a product or service to those whose mission in life is to sell a product or service?
I mean, shouldn't someone like myself, a devout, practicing, art director-type guy, be totally immune to "the pitch?" Did I not take the Marketing Pox vaccine back in 4th grade?
I made a promise to the Blog gods that I would never talk about myself, but this is important. No; this is monumental, and it will now have a profound effect on everything that I come in contact with. Well, at least for the next hour so.
Here's how they (and by they, I mean us -- the ad peeps) got to me folks:
It was that damn branding. Branding, with a little touch of price-pointing thrown in for good measure.
When I wasn't looking, or had my back turned to the TV, someone representing a brand made a promise. More importantly, they kept that promise. Even more importantly, they kept that promise time and time again.
Sorry, about breaking the ad-guy code of silence, but how else can you explain the reason that my family is on its fifth Honda (quality and reliability), or that I only use Colgate toothpaste (never a cavity and totally fresh breath)?
No one "sold" me on those two products, or the countless others, but I vaguely remember a promise those brands made to me, that I bought into that promise, and that I was not disappointed with that buy.
Sure, the term “branding” has been tossed around over the last decade like some two-year-old's Elmo doll, but when branding is executed by a professional team, and is executed consistently over a period of time, it can be a thing of beauty. And beauty sells, man.
It's all quite simple really and bears repeating:
A brand is a promise and promises should be kept. A kept promise is a form of trust and once someone trusts you (or your product or service), they'll beat a path to your door every time.
Make that I'll beat a path to your door every time. Because even jaded, seen-it-all ad-guys have to buy stuff now and then.
Gary LoBue Jr / Art Director & Brand Loyal Consumer / The Russo Group
*a sudden, passing sensation of intense emotion